Fat Cat

Obesity is defined as an accumulation of excessive amounts of fat tissue in the body, and has been called the most common nutritional disease of dogs and cats. However, in the past 10 years, most clinicians and researchers have agreed that at least 33 percent of the dogs and 35 percent of cats presented to veterinary clinics are obese, and that the incidence is increasing as human obesity increases in the overall population. This statistic is important because obesity is not just the accumulation of large amounts of fat tissue, but is associated with important metabolic and hormonal changes in the body. These metabolic and hormonal changes are associated with a variety of conditions, including arthritis, difficulties in breathing, glucose intolerance and diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, decreased heat tolerance, some forms of cancer, and increased risk of anesthetic and surgical complications.

The causes of obesity are multifactorial, and there are many genetic and environmental factors, but obesity is ultimately related to energy imbalance: too many calories consumed or too few calories burned. One of these recognized factors is breed predisposition to obesity (like Retrievers, Mops and Dachshunds), and there are clearly other components, such as age, sex, and hormonal influences that play significant roles in the development of obesity.

Why Are So Many Pets Overweight?

Food = love? Food is often associated with love, and because we love our furry family members, we want to show them that love by giving them extra food, treats and sometimes food intended for human consumption, which is generally higher in calories and fat than pet food.

Lack of exercise. As we lead busier lives than ever before, many pet owners hope a run in the yard for Fido is enough exercise to keep him healthy. For most dogs, this isn’t adequate. Dogs require our participation and interaction. Some dogs love to swim, others prefer to fetch, and some breeds, especially herding breeds, do best with a physical job. For many dogs, a simple daily walk is all that is required for them to stay at their ideal body weight. Exercising a cat isn’t quite as simple. Most veterinarians agree that cats are healthiest and safest indoors, but an indoor-only kitty can become a lazy kitty, which can lead to weight gain. One way to exercise your indoor cat is to hide a small percentage of her food in a food puzzle or fooddispensing toy. Her innate prey drive will be activated as she “hunts” for her food, forcing her to be more active. Also, use the toys that require your cat to chase and jump.

Lack of pet owner knowledge or understanding. To complicate the pet obesity problem, many pet owners don’t know their pets are overweight. 90 percent of owners of overweight cats and 95 percent of owners of overweight dogs incorrectly identified their pets as falling within the normal weight range.

People don’t pack on the body weight overnight, and the same is true for our pets. Because weight gain is gradual, and we see our pets every day, it might sometimes be difficult to notice when a pet has become overweight. And for cats and small dogs especially, a few hundred grams can make a big difference.

How to Prevent Pet Obesity?

Your veterinarian plays an important role in the health of your pet and can help you keep your furry friend at a healthy weight. While pet owners generally don’t weigh their pets consistently, your pet will be weighed at each veterinary visit. If your veterinarian notices your pet’s weight is increasing, she should discuss it with you.

If your pet is already overweight, it is important to consult with your veterinarian about the proper way to help him get back into the healthy weight range. Crash diets aren’t healthy for anyone, but for cats especially a crash diet can trigger a sometimes-fatal liver disease.

 Losing weight is never easy, but it can be done safely and effectively with assistance from your veterinary health care team.

Nevena Stefanovic studied at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Belgrade, Serbia and Wroclaw, Poland. Her primary interest are companion animals internal medicine and surgery. Nevena is now working as a veterinary surgeon at Animal Doctors International Clinic, HCMC.

 

Share this story, choose your platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on vk
Share on email
About the author:

Leave a Comment

Hormone Replacement Therapy 101 – Side Effects, Preparation

Hormone replacement therapy is intended to alleviate menopausal symptoms. Here you can find out what women should consider and which preparations are available. What is hormone replacement therapy? Hormone replacement therapy is intended to alleviate menopause and the associated symptoms. This is because during menopause the body produces fewer hormones, resulting in a deficiency. This

Read More »

Strengthening Relationships: 5 Wise Tips for Everyone

In theory, a relationship itself is very simple, since it develops in a natural rhythm at the will of the senses: people meet, fall in love, and decide to start dating. But lovers involved in relationships can make them really complicated. The fact is that we are not too pleased with the idea that “we

Read More »

The two methods to extract CBD from hemp flower

Surely you have heard about the famous cannabidiol, of which many studies have been conducted over the last few years to demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of hemp flower. However, maybe you don’t have much information about what this compound is, where it comes from and how it is extracted.  So, if you have ever wondered

Read More »

Common Lip Filler Aftercare Mistakes You Should Avoid

Lip injectables are shots that provide the lips a more round and complete form. The injectables are composed essentially of hyaluronic acid. Sometimes lip Botox is executed for a comparable outcome, but that’s not recognized as a dermal filler. The lip injectable method demands just several minutes and is slightly invasive. However, the procedure is

Read More »

Should you use CBD?

Are you looking for a way to get all the benefits of marijuana without feeling any of the high? Are you wanting an alternative to modern pain medication but aren’t sure is CBD is the right thing for you? When you’re looking for a solution to your pain relief, it’s tempting to take the path

Read More »

3 Quality CBD Products You must try

There are many CBD Topical products which are giving good results for people’s health. CBD Topicals, edibles and many more which gives you multiple options to ingest CBD. If you want to use CBD oil, you can just add it into your food. You will be amazed to know that there are CBD creams which

Read More »